Marsh Gardeners at WorkAug 4th, 2015 | Category: Blogs, MDC News, Oyster Restoration News, Shoreline Restoration News
Almost one full year has passed since volunteers and staff planted the first young plants in our 5-acre restored salt marsh habitat. The planted areas are filling in to form a Spartina alterniflora nursery, which will provide vegetation for shoreline restoration projects in the area. We also planted dozens of native, drought-tolerant species in the Living Shoreline Demonstration Area. Here, visitors can explore various types of Living Shorelines, learn about the benefits to wildlife, and how one might apply the techniques on their own property.
As the seasons progressed after planting, we noticed a few ‘intruder species’ that could potentially slow the growth of our intended coastal collage. Recently, a dedicated crew of volunteers came out for some ‘Marsh Maintenance’ to keep the weeds in check. Starting early to beat the heat, we removed large weeds to make sure the selected marsh species have plenty of room to spread and grow.
Within a few hours of weeding, the Living Shoreline Demonstration Area no longer appeared overgrown and the bright colors of dune sunflower and blanket flower could easily be seen again. Goldenrod, necklace pod, twinflower, starry rosinweed and several other coastal species were waving in the breeze. These plants are filling in to create a colorful natural landscape that attracts pollinators above ground, and secures the soil below.
Just as we finished pulling the last section of weeds, a team arrived to install brand new informational signs in the Living Shoreline Demonstration Area. The signs, generously provided by state and federal partners on the project, explain the demo area and the restoration project.
We invite you to talk a walk through our salt marsh, see the new signs, and learn about the project from our knowledgeable staff and volunteers. While you’re out there, see how many bird species you can count, hike up the hill for a view of the lighthouse, and don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.
to learn more about the Florida’s Living Shorelines project visit http://floridalivingshorelines.com/